So, it's finally 2012. Apparently, we're either supposed to celebrate this milestone, or start hoarding canned food, water and fuel in anticipation of the world ending. I'm doing neither – I'm not changing a damn thing about the way I operate. The way I see it, I'll make the most of each day just as I have and if I die in a blaze of glory due to the world disintegrating around me, well ... it's been real.
Until then, I'll still have technology and life-related annoyances and experiences to share, like this one.
If you've followed me on Twitter or have read any of my previous posts, you already know the love-hate relationship I have with its functionality, its intentional and dedicated stalker mechanisms, and its screwed up merry-go-round of privacy issues that never seem to be fully addressed. While it does have its negatives, the platform still proves to be a powerful advertising, branding and communications tool for organizations of all shapes and sizes, which I like. So, there's that.
Facebook isn't new. It's been interrupting our lives since 2004.
Yet there's one thing I still struggle to understand. Why people – including employees assigned to the task of manning a corporate Facebook page – ignore the TPS cover sheeted memo that reminds them: what you put on your Facebook page, photo album or profile is indeed PUBLIC. To that: If you're going to post a thought or comment and in turn get blasted for what you said, DELETING THE POST MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A CHUMP.
No matter how stringent your personal privacy settings are, the comments you make and information you share can (and often will) be made public in the blink of an eye, it's as simple as "copy and paste." In some cases, your message could be spread like wildfire on other social networks, and if you're "lucky," be picked up by media outlets. Natural reaction is to yell, "Oh crap," and quickly hit the delete button. Bad move.
At some point in your thought process – prior to hitting the "post" button – you felt it was a good move to let the words fly. Then your audience, and your audience's communities decided to voice their feedback and much to your dismay it wasn't what you hoped it would be. So, in return you deleted the posts and comments in an attempt to prevent more people from seeing it. Somewhere along the way, you lost your conviction. Shame on you.
Now, don't get me wrong. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes errors like a wrong link, or a spelling/grammatical error happen. Have a sense of humor and own up to your biff. The same goes for companies. It's OK to acknowledge that an error is made. It's NOT OK to remove all whiffs of a post because your audience isn't responding kindly. By doing so, you're on a one-way path to customers losing respect for you and your brand. You're rapidly gaining the "we say we care about what you think, but really we don't" label. Don't think it happens? Remember this Chapstick kerfuffle?
If the world were all sunshine and breezes, then we wouldn't have to worry about backlash, trolls and negative press. But even in 2012 we don't operate like that, and that's not changing anytime soon.
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